The garden is doing very well. When I view pictures or videos of the past couple years' plantings, it's easy to see the expansion. Aside from a hellacious storm that went through a couple nights ago, the weather has been fairly normal and mild for this time of year. I've been harvesting different herbs and playing with them in the kitchen (to make oils, tinctures, flavored honey and simple syrups), picking random flowers for cottage bouquets and it appears that some veggie harvesting (other than greens which I've had a few servings of) is just around the corner.
In my own little art world, I continue to make cyanotype prints. A couple more concept ideas are swirling in my head as well. I'm also happy to report one of my prints was accepted to another juried show. Of the three I entered over the past couple months, two pieces made it into shows. I'm pleased with that, especially because it motivates me to be productive. I've yet to send out the two rolls of color pinhole film, but that will happen this coming week.
There's not much else to report. On the outside, life moves along at an even clip. My inner world continues to see subtle realizations and change as well. New thoughts and ideas, fleshed out visions and options for the future, and the fact that I'm loosening up to allow for all that is, well, something for me.
"Gestation at Baba Yaga's" Will be in the Firmly Rooted show at M.S. Rezny Gallery in Lexington, Kentucky
I packed up my pinholga and Zero69 and headed down to Pony Pasture a couple days ago. Ilford Delta100 loaded in the pinholga and Ektar 100 in the Zero. The film from the Zero is still sitting on my desk and I need to send it and another roll off to the lab for processing (yes, I need to venture forth into color processing, but I'm not ready for that yet!).
I processed the Delta100 later that day (an accomplishment I haven't expressed in some time...same day shooting and processing, that is). The results please me. The roll was enough of a success that it's incentive to keep working on the pinholes. I'm looking forward to seeing the color images.
The past few months, my time has been divided between intensive gardening and starting up cyanotype production again. Since the cyanotypes require, what seems to be time to reacquaint myself with the process, any other art related photography kind of gets shelved. After having one of my older pinholes get accepted into a juried show, it felt it was time to give the pinholes more energy.
Truth be told, I absolutely love making pinholes. I love the slowed down quality of exposures, the blurs, and the strange distortion of this type of photography. Being the non-technical person I am, it's just cool to go out and make pictures with a box that has a hole in it!
The forecast is for big storms tomorrow. The yards are pretty much caught up, so Avery and I got out for a relatively early walk. Since it's kind of steamy out, it seemed like a good day to stay indoors and be creative in the kitchen.
There was motherwort and plantain that got set to tincture in vodka, plantain infused in coconut oil, lavender infused in honey, sage infused in honey, a new batch of fermented soda set out in the crock (this time with sassafras, wintergreen leaves and cinnamon for flavoring and honey for sweetener) and my favorite item made in the kitchen today...fresh peach ice cream, sweetened with honey and flavored with Drambuie. Oh, and while I was waiting on some of the hot bath infusions, I sliced up the large yellow dock root that was dug from the garden. Rootlets and root slices are now flattening and drying to use in a new cyanotype piece.
The rest of the day will be some journaling and hopefully dinner. While I have dessert at the ready, I still don't know what the main part of my meal will be!
Plantain infused oil, sage infused honey and lavender infused honey.
Flowering motherwort tops in vodka.
Plantain leaves in vodka.
Fresh peach ice cream getting churned in the ice cream maker.
May was the rainiest on record here in Richmond. Nearly ten inches fell. All that water has certainly made things green and growing. Now that the sun seems to have returned with more intensity (May was not only wet, but very gray) the flowers are starting to bloom as well. In the garden larkspur has been blooming for a while, now being joined by cosmos and coreopsis, with the first red poppy bloom opening today. The hollyhocks aren't far behind and are setting up lots of buds too. As far as the herbs go, valerian, angelica, agrimony and elder have been flowering, and it won't be long for the St. John's wort to start. It's a delight to walk in the garden and discover something new every day.
Now that the vast majority of the laborious work in the yards is complete, as opposed to maintenance which I find more joyful, my energy has been returning to artwork. I've been creating new prints in the hand/plant cyanotype series. I pick the botanical matter a few days before printing, drying and pressing a bit, so that when printing day rolls around I can focus entirely on that part of the process. In the baba yaga's garden series (with small figures and "large" botanicals) I had some new ideas generating and have been busy shooting and printing more negatives. One test print down and the negatives seem good to go.
Of the three calls for entry I've entered in the past month, I did receive acceptance into the pinhole show. The juror actually picked one of my favorites, which is very cool. Two more shows have yet to notify. I'm inspired and motivated by acceptance into the pinhole show and the sale of my two little cyanotypes up in Philly at 1241 Carpenter Studios . It takes me a while to get into the rhythm of producing physical work, but I'm getting there.
Aikido is going well. I practice three times a week and am finally getting more familiar with this style. It's a joy to work with all the people in my new dojo, who continue to be supportive and patient. I can't exactly explain how the art enriches my life, but I know that it does. Perhaps it's a sense of building my integrity, strength and awareness, that I take off the mat, which keeps me returning. Perhaps it's that the art assists in my ongoing effort to be authentic and real. It's been challenging in many ways to step back into practice, but it's more rewarding than ever.
Summer is all but here and the next few months will fly by. I'm terribly excited for my daughter's wedding in September and that's the next milestone in my sight. But before then I hope to have a few months of productive art making, adventure seeking (I'm assisting with a local kid's nature camp), and of course gardening (and working with the fruits of my labor, making medicines and all kinds of delicious comestibles). Needless to say, efforts towards self cultivation will always be ongoing. Isn't life interesting??
I sometimes stop by the river on my way home from early morning weapons practice mid-week.
The garden is filling out.
The two small prints that sold up in Philly.
The print in the bottom right corner will be in the Pinhole show at A. Smith Gallery in Texas.
New prints being rinsed.
Exposing cyantoypes in the sun.
Prints hung to dry.
Rhubarb from the garden combined with farmer's market strawberries went into an awesome crisp.
Testing a new idea for an older concept.
Digitalis that's taller than me!